MANILA - Nearly all Filipinos will enter 2018 "with hope rather than fear," a Social Weather Stations survey showed, posting a record high in optimism over the start of a new year.
In a report released Saturday, the SWS said "a new all-time high 96 percent of adult Filipinos are entering 2018 with hope rather than with fear" based on a survey conducted from December 8 to 16.
The four percent who are fearful about the turn of the year accounts for the lowest pessimism level since 2011, the report read.
New year optimism among Filipinos has always been high, remaining within the 90-percent level since 2010, the SWS said.
This year's record rate was an increase of a percentage point from 95 percent in 2016 "due to increases in the Visayas and Metro Manila," the SWS said.
"New Year hope," said SWS, was "widespread" across the country: highest in Balance Luzon at 97 percent, Metro Manila at 96 percent, Mindanao at 95 percent and Visayas at 95 percent.
It also remained "high across socioeconomic classes," SWS said.
Hopefulness for the new year was the highest in class D in 15 years, increasing from 95 percent in 2016 to 96 percent this year.
There was also a 1 point rise for class E, from 93 percent in 2016 to 94 percent in 2017.
Across classes A, B, and C, optimism level was at 97 percent, the highest among all classes while slightly down from last year's 99 percent. It had reached as high as 100 percent in 2012 for the upper class bracket.
In the survey, some 1,200 respondents nationwide were asked this question: "Is it with hope or with fear that you enter the coming year?"
The survey was taken before back-to-back storms Urduja and Vinta left hundreds dead and thousands homeless in parts of Visayas and Mindanao.
Meanwhile, almost half of the respondents or 46 percent said they made New Year's resolutions, but only 18 percent said their resolutions "have been or will be fulfilled."
In a statement, Malacañang welcomed the news, citing a glowing economic prospect for 2018.
"Our economy is on a roll with institutions like the Asian Development Bank upgrading our growth outlook for 2017 and debt watcher Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings also adjusting upward its economic growth forecast for the Philippines this year," said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
He said the liberation of Marawi City, where a five-month firefight between state troops and terrorists had left the former commercial capital in ruins, would "spur economic activities in Mindanao." The city is currently under rehabilitation.
Roque also cited the country's expected gains upon the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act, a measure that lowers personal income taxes while raising duties on cars, fuel, coal and sugar-sweetened drinks,
He said the reform would "prop up our economy in 2018."
Last week, the SWS released survey results showing a record high in optimism of Filipinos over the Christmas celebration.